The CRS (Republican Security Companies), which made its name quelling student demonstrators during nationwide disturbances in 1968, has always enjoyed a glass of beer or wine with its meals.
However, following photos of riot police drinking bottles of beer during Paris street protest, police chiefs have decided to put an end to the tradition.
They were wearing body armour and carrying weapons as they sipped from beer and wine bottles. Some were also smoking.
Didier Mangione, national secretary of the police union, said bosses were "trying to turn us into priests, but without the altar wine".
"Nobody should object to a small drink on jobs," he said. "CRS officers do not have any more or less alcohol problems than anybody else in society. They should be allowed to drink in moderation."
While British police are strictly barred from drinking on duty, the French have traditionally been allowed 25cl of wine or a small beer with their main meal of the day.
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